A Rwandan doctor has been jailed for 23 years in France for his role in the 1994 Tutsi genocide in the African country.
Sosthene Munyemana, 68, was found guilty of charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and helping prepare a genocide.
The Rwandan, who was a gynaecologist in the city of Tumba, moved to France months after the genocide, and had denied any wrongdoing.
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Rwandan genocide survivor’s story
Prosecutors in Paris accused him of rounding up Tutsis and said he “couldn’t ignore” that they were going to be killed.
Munyemana, a friend of then-head of the interim government, Jean Kambanda, co-signed “a motion of support” for the administration, which supervised the genocide, in April 1994.
He also took part in a local committee and meetings that organised round-ups of Tutsi civilians.
He admitted participating in local night patrols, which were conducted to track Tutsi people, but claimed he did so to protect the local population.
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Witnesses saw him at checkpoints set up across the town where he supervised operations, according to prosecutors.
Munyemana was also accused of detaining several dozen Tutsi civilians in the office of the local administration that was “under his authority at the time”, and of passing on official instructions to local militias and residents “leading to the round-up of the Tutsis”.
Image: Family photographs of some of those who died hang in an exhibition in Kigali. File pic
Prosecutors said there was evidence of “intentional gathering meant to exterminate people”, and that Munyemana “couldn’t ignore” that they were going to be killed.
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Munyemana has been living and working in France since he arrived in September 1994, the year before the first complaint was lodged against him by other Rwandans there.
Rwanda has long accused France “enabling” the genocide, but relations between the two countries have improved in recent years as Paris has tried harder to arrest genocide suspects and send them to trial.
This was the sixth case related to the Rwandan genocide that came to court in Paris, all of them in the past decade.
Nearly 30 years have passed since the genocide in which more than 800,000 minority Tutsis and moderate Hutus who tried to protect them were killed.
Munyemana’s lawyers said he would appeal and will not be jailed while his appeal is ongoing.
Source : Sky News